4. IN & OUT
7. Youth Voice
In order for a country to function normally we need a system in place that takes into consideration the needs of all its people and of course the successful functioning of the system, thus not making choices which would destroy or damage the system. In essence we are describing democracy, or the democratic system which governs and rules a country. Looking at history, it is very rare that an entire nation supports one party or one idea, so there is always division or at least different opinions. When talking to young people from any country we will hear at least some form of dissatisfaction with their country, their government and even the people of their country. This project will look at exactly this from the perspective of the individual, this being active citizenship.
Our project will not focus only on the democratic act of voting, but will look at active citizenship starting from home. How do we deal with the issues, the choices and the actions we take in our daily lives and take these to understand how we act as citizens of our countries and of the EU? We have seen that many factors influence the choices of young people, we have seen how parents influence the educational choices of youth based on their personal beliefs rather than the needs of the labour markets or the desires of their children. Is this how young people are influenced to vote or how they deal with issues in their communities which are wrong or need reform?
This project is designed to allow young people to empower their life choices so that they can be more active citizens, from the simple choices of lifestyle, to education and ultimately to policy reform and the shaping of their countries and of the EU. We will explore the true meaning of active citizenship, looking at our past, the mistakes and even good practices of the past, those which have moulded our today, and then explore our options of how we mould tomorrow.
We have seen that policy reform and politics are more of a spectator activity for young people where they believe they have no influence nor say in what happens in their countries, we have so often heard young people say “no matter who we vote for, nothing will change”. We hope to change this. Our goal is not to form a political movement, but to get young people off the couch and empower them to make the changes they want to see in their world, starting from their homes, their communities, their countries and in the EU, and in the near future even in the world.
Our project will give young people the tools and resources to understand their rights as EU citizens, to understand the reasoning behind the choices of their governments, to challenge these choices and to be actively involved in the reform that are needed in their communities and in the EU. We will help young people understand the process of policy reform, the methods and approaches needed by policy makers to make these choices, understanding that meeting the needs of a society also means that some expenses need to be covered and to allow the youth to take these expenses into consideration, thus not only demanding reform, but contributing to this reform through understanding that the system, be it a local government, or even the EU, needs all of us to contribute in order for it to serve us all.
The project involves many program countries allowing us to learn and understand that we have common concerns and problems, but will also allow us to understand that sometimes these problems are caused by our lack of involvement and our passive approach to problems in our society often cause the problems. We will learn that together, and by being active in our societies, we can make changes, not only because we can, but because we must be the building blocks of our societies and our EU and the only way we can create a society for everyone is to actively work together and make the changes.
The Project will use the EU democratic model as the basis of democracy so that we can share the values of the EU, in understanding how the EU was developed and how it has become so strong, working together for the good of all its people, we will promote diversity and EU enlargement and show how the EU model works for all of us. We will also focus on inclusion, discrimination and diversity. We will give focus on young people at risk and work on ways to overcome these risks allowing all people to feel equal and for all human rights to be protected.
We have become a society of couch citizens, sitting back and just viewing everything as it passes our eyes, now is the time to get off the couch and to build the country, the EU and the world, we want to live in.
The project will use a series of proven non-formal methodologies to achieve its goals and will continue to empower young people to understand the importance of active citizenship so that we can all contribute to EU enlargement and the positive and collective growth of our countries.
We will examine the EU treaties and even EU laws and policies, see how our country-influenced these, and more importantly how we as young people can influence and affect future policy in the EU.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission (Erasmus + Programme). These publication(s) article(s), video(s) and magazine(s) reflect the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.